Donostia-San Sebastian

10 Things I Think About Donostia-San Sebastián

1. Smashing Pumpkins, Smiling Politely

I think the Basques and the Irish have a lot in common. We were served by a red haired trail running waiter in Tedone on the last night. I explained that we were "Irish not English" he replied "Basque not Spanish". They understand.

2. The Curious Incident of the Scratch on the Rental Car

I think I might take the car rental excess insurance that they try and flog you in future. I got a lovely car for the few days. Unfortunately I didn't return it as lovely. I still don't know where the scratch came from. I don't think I hit anything as I'm not Spanish. I strongly suspect one of the locals in the underground car park, it was very dark in there. Hopefully that other Car Hire Excess Insurance I bought online for the year will work. You'd think it would with a name like that.

3. Coldplay

I think AirBnB is keeping IKEA in business. The AirBnB in Donostia was straight from an IKEA showroom. It was all yellow. I liked it. Yellow is a happy colour.

4. Beer

I think the beer in Donostia is strong. I don't think they do anything less than six percent. I like Keler, it's very nice. They sponsor the running races too which is good. They also had Pinkus beer from Munster in Germany in the health food shops because its organic. German beer is still better, just make sure it's in a bottle in Spain.

5. Running

I think Donostia isn't the best town in the world for running. The footpaths and promenades are covered in those tiles that look lovely but make your bones hurt when you run on them. The cycle paths are covered in cyclists who gesticulate wildly at you even though you're running faster than them. The tourist board did have 10 mile routes mapped out which was handy, none of this 3 mile run nonsense.

6. Cider

I think the cider in Donostia is awful. Oliver the city walk guide recommended that we try some. It's terrible, horribly bitter and very yellow. The waiters only get about 45% of it in the glass when pouring it, it's no harm, the floor is the best place for it. Clonmel is better.

7. Trump

I didn't think I'd ever meet an American who was pro Trump. They do exist though and they have relatives from Roscommon. "Hilary is a terribly corrupt woman". It was nice to see that Fox News isn't fiction.

8. Gastronomy

I think the gastronomy in Donostia is over rated, Seville and Malaga are far better. The restaurants were more expensive and the food wasn't as good. I spent a lot of time tormenting my sister wandering the streets consulting TripAdvisor to no great success. She was tormented though so I suppose I had some success. Ikaitz was great but everywhere else was average. Pintxos are the Spanish equivalent of pies, a way of hiding yesterday's uneaten food. The ham was still good.

9. Hills

I think the parks in Donostia are the hilliest parks in the world. They make Doneraile look flat. One of the runs had a thousand feet of climbing in six miles. Good practice for the mountain running I suppose. No wonder they're fantastic at it.

10. Lunatic Soup

I think the wine in Donostia makes Irish people talk to each other. An Irish guy wandered over to our table one night. We asked him if he was enjoying the wine. "Sure why do you think I'm talking to people at other tables." It's very good wine.